I love family traditions.
When I was younger, I looked forward to decorating our Christmas tree on my birthday, which falls about a week before Christmas. In fact, Christmas has always been my favorite time of year probably because of all the tradition it brings. Growing up, there were so many fun things we did each year... making Christmas goodies to take to friends, composing a Christmas wish list for our parents, and spending the first Monday night of the new year reading the previous year's resolutions, and creating new ones.
One of my favorite traditions was at the beginning of each December, when my parents would take us to a local craft store, Stats, where we each got to choose an ornament or Christmas decoration. I remember walking through the aisles trying to find the perfect thing... one year it was a silver tinsel garland I got to hang on the mirror in my room, another year I was set on finding the perfect candle.
Now that I have my own family, it is fun to see what turns into a tradition. Two traditions we had growing up have carried over. The first, going for an ice cream cone around the time of each child's birthday, is easy. Many ice cream shops have a Kids Club, which sends out a certificate for a free scoop within 30 days of the child's birthday. Growing up it was Baskin Robbins, now it is Marble Slab.
The second tradition is one that may seem a little odd to some people, but it is one I grew up with. After we get home from church, we change out of our dress clothes and put on something a little more comfy. Then, we pop a big bowl of air-popped popcorn, smother it with melted butter, and sit around the table eating. Growing up, we would read the newspaper while we ate... my favorites were the funnies and ads (I know, I know!), and then when I was home for the summer from college, I switched to the Sunday Crossword puzzle. This tradition is going strong in our current house... it gives the kids a little something to tide them over until Dad gets home from his meetings.
So, what traditions have we come up with all on our own? Elliott has added to the Sunday night tradition - making pancakes for our Sunday dinner. These are not just any pancakes... Elliott is a pancake-artist extraordinaire! The boys yell out shapes, and Elliott cooks them up. We have gone as easy as a sun (round circle) to Godzilla, a truck, and a dragonfly, to name a few. Now that Emma can express her opinion easily, Elliott has added "Dahyees" to his repertoire (that's doggies for those of you who don't speak two-year-old!)